In this issue of Marvel’s Star Wars, Han Solo is tasked with smuggling a potential asset for the Rebel Alliance. The only problem is that asset is a Hutt, and not Jabba, but Grakkus. Things are going to get bumpy for the Millennium Falcon and her two pilots, along with one Hutt, as Star Wars #35 keeps these singular stories going.
I will be the first to admit that we are on the edge of Han Solo-overkill. He’s had his own comic series, was pretty much the star of TFA, and will also be getting his own film next May. As much as I recognize that, I’ve loved all of it! I’m glad that writer Jason Aaron got a chance to give a contained, Han Solo story as he prepares to exit the titular series in the next few issues.
When Mon Mothma speaks, you listen. We can see here that she is very familiar with Han and where he came from. The Rebel Alliance needs a smuggler and they are well acquainted with the best one in the galaxy. I have to remind myself that we are still not too far removed from the destruction of the Death Star. The Rebel Alliance was in a difficult spot before it and now they’re on the run. Mon Mothma knows they need all the help they can get, even if it’s coming from the most undesirable of beings.
Grakkus the Hutt has been captured by the Rebel Alliance. Mon Mothma feels it is too risky to keep the Hutt in the Alliance headquarters, so she needs Han to get him to the other side of the galaxy to a secret facility. It is hinted that General Draven (who we know from Rogue One is not afraid to get his hands dirty), will initiate “hostile negotiations” with the Hutt to find a cache of weapons Grakkus is rumored to have.
Mon Mothma manages to appeal to Han’s sense of good. The intense emotions between Han and Leia must have been pretty apparent to members of the Rebellion, as Mon Mothma plays to that. The sooner the war ends, the sooner Han can pursue something more with Leia. Of course, Han doesn’t admit that, but agrees to take Grakkus, keeping the Hutt shackled as the Millennium Falcon makes it’s way across the galaxy.
Well, it seems where there is a Millennium Falcon, there are TIE Fighters ready to follow. Just as the Falcon is about to jump to hyperspace, these TIE Fighters show up, recognizing the Falcon and ordering it’s surrender. As Han and Chewie try to buy more time for the navigation computer to make it’s calculations, Grakkus “accidentally” disables the controls with his girth. If that weren’t bad enough, soon after that the TIE Fighters damage the hyperdrive with their shots. Han frantically tries to keep the Falcon from being shot down.
As Han continues to navigate the situation, Grakkus tries to appeal to the smuggler. Han’s life took a pretty abrupt turn on Tatooine, and we’ve seen in his stand alone comic series that it’s taken some time for him to come to terms with that. Grakkus reminds Solo of the freedom he once had. It’s a decent trick, but Han isn’t at all distracted by it. He has a plan, and as we’ve seen before, Han is great at coming up with last minute plans.
I love this kind of stuff! The art here really gave me the sense that the Millennium Falcon was approaching deep space. This is one of the cooler frames I’ve seen in a while. The Millennium Falcon puts down on a remote asteroid, and so do the TIE Fighters. Han’s plan is to offer Grakkus up to them, and just as Grakkus surrenders, he starts kicking TIE pilot ass.
Han joins in at the last minute, nonchalantly blasting the remaining TIE pilot. Once the situation is under control, Grakkus reminds Han of the proposal. Money, no more looking over his shoulder for Jabba’s bounty hunters, and no more obligation to the Rebel Alliance. The proposal is flatly denied by Han. Unfortunately, Grakkus had a contingency plan, and he once again demonstrates that he is not a Hutt to be underestimated.
The tables are turned on Han as Grakkus takes the captain hostage and orders Chewbacca to pilot him to a planet called Teth. In the great tradition of villains making the fatal mistake of revealing everything, Grakkus lets Han know that’s where all his weapons are. Grakkus intends to use them all to regain his place in the galactic underworld. He withdraws his offer to Han and plans on using the Falcon as his ship, with Chewbacca as his pilot. The only thing Grakkus didn’t count on…
Han had a device installed in Grakkus’ cyborg centipede legs. All he has to do is recite a code and Grakkus gets a zap to keep him docile. Not only did Han come up with that, he also had General Draven listening in as Grakkus announced his cache of weapons was on Teth. Han also lets Grakkus know that he’s still a smuggler and that he’s choosing to help the Rebel Alliance.
The two friends make their way back out into the galaxy, ferrying a Hutt to his new prison. Of course, we know the fate of Grakkus, thanks to Marvel’s Poe Dameron #6, the Hutt eventually becomes the kingpin of this prison. It’s nice to see how he got there, though. As Han and Chewbacca laugh, in another part of the galaxy, a Star Destroyer faces an inner conflict like they’ve never seen…
Should be interesting to see which one of our heroes, no matter how small, is giving this Star Destroyer so much trouble. It looks like whoever it is managed to turn all the lights out.
While it’d be easy to mistake this issue as the lost Han Solo issue, I thought this was a worthy addition to the titular series. It’s great to see that Jason Aaron is having a lot of fun with this. Salvador Larroca is in his usual form and has been giving us some great art in these last few issues. As I mentioned, many of these frames capture the solitude of space. As excited as I am for Marvel’s Star Wars to turn the corner, it’s great that Jason Aaron is able to finish this series on his own terms. There’s a few more issues left, so I’d recommend picking them up as we approach #38.
7 OUT OF 10 STARS